Roadside bomb hits minibus near Kabul, killing 8 civilians

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) -- At least eight people were killed Tuesday when a roadside bomb struck a minibus as it drove over a bridge near the Afghan capital of Kabul, police and government officials said. A suspected Taliban insurgent who planted the device was arrested.

The attack happened at around 5:20 a.m. local time when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck a civilian minibus as it drove over a bridge on the main road in Khaldari, a village located in the Paghman district of Kabul province. It is believed the bomb was targeting an Afghan National Army (ANA) vehicle which was driving behind the minibus.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said at least eight civilians were killed and four others were injured, but a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said five people were injured. Karzai strongly condemned the roadside bombing, saying those who target civilians during the holy month of Ramadan are neither Muslims nor Afghans.

Afghan police were able to arrest the suspected IED-planter with the help of local citizens, the interior ministry said.

"The leadership of Ministry of Interior Affairs expresses its deepest sympathies to the families of the victims who lost their lives in the holy month of Ramadan and asks Almighty Allah to give the best paradise for those who were killed and prays for the quick recovery for those injured," a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also condemned the attack, saying the placement of the explosive device was "clearly intended" to indiscriminately kill innocent civilians during the Ramadan. "This act clearly demonstrates the insurgents' lack of concern for the people of Afghanistan and their desire for peace and security for themselves, their families, and their nation," ISAF spokesman Brig. Gen. Günter Katz said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Afghan officials blamed the Taliban.

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